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Transforming Education Summit: Uzbekistan's Experience in Connecting Schools to the Internet recognized

20th September 2022

As we reported before, the Delegation of Uzbekistan participated in the UN Summit on Education Transformation, which was held in New York.

During the event, negotiations are organized on cooperation between international organizations and representatives of the private sector in such areas as inclusive, fair, safe, and healthy schools; learning and skills for life, work, and sustainable development; teachers, teaching, and educational methods; digital learning and transformation; financing of education.

The Summit also organized 45 sessions in support of initiatives related to the thematic lines of action.

In particular, the Session “GIGA Initiative: Digitally Transforming Education” offered a platform to discuss the importance of connecting schools to educational transformation.

This event allowed all ministers and young people to unite at the same table to define the goals and targets that need to be realized shortly to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by providing everyone with a safe and accessible Internet by 2030.

19 states, as well as Uzbekistan supporting the Giga initiative, have pledged to connect all their schools to the Internet. Ulugbek Tashkenbaev, Head of the State Inspectorate for Supervision of Quality in Education, acted as a speaker to share the success achieved in the field of Internet connection and the best practices of Uzbekistan.

“Many politicians argue that education is a conservative area and that reform and innovation will take a long time. But with digital technologies in education, a lot can be achieved in a short time. Technology provides students with easy access to information, speeds up the learning process, and creates opportunities for the application of their knowledge, encouraging students to dive deeper into new areas of interest to them. Education is not only a human right but also ensures the implementation and protection of other entitlements.

Digitalization is an important factor in ensuring the human right to education. Today, technology/digitalization remains the fastest and most efficient means of delivering quality, inclusive and equitable education for all”.

Fayaz King, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, acknowledged the effectiveness of the Uzbek government's efforts to connect all schools to the Internet and showed the experience of Uzbekistan as an example for other countries.

It is worth noting that the President of Uzbekistan has set the task of connecting all schools to fiber-optic Internet by the end of 2022.

If in 2018 only 7% of schools in Uzbekistan were connected to the Internet, today the number of schools with high-speed Internet connection (at least 10 Mbps per school) has reached 92%, and active work is underway to equip schools with modern computers. Over the past two years, about 20,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable will be laid to more than 10,000 schools to connect to the Internet.

Uzbekistan is the first country in Central Asia to carry out real-time monitoring throughout the country.

The Government of Uzbekistan is making efforts to improve digital connectivity and create digital public goods in education. In particular, the Ministry of Public Education, together with UNICEF, as part of the GIGA mapping initiative, collected and visualized the location of schools and Internet connections on an open map for the first time. With the support of Giga, most schools are now equipped with real-time internet connection monitoring equipment, allowing the ministry to more frequently monitor the quality of a school's internet connection.

As part of the Giga Accelerate initiative, Uzbekistan is also testing innovative solutions such as expanding Internet connectivity from schools to the local community and testing business models to monetize community Internet services for sustainable resource mobilization to ensure continued connectivity.

For information, the GIGA project was launched by UNICEF in 2019 and this project aims to connect every school in the world to the Internet.